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Cagliari extends unbeaten Serie A run; Balotelli on 50 goals

Surprise package Cagliari came back from two goals down to extend its unbeaten run to 13 Serie A games with a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo on Sunday.

The Sardinian club, which has not finished in the top half of the Italian league since the 2008-09 season, remained fourth in the table, above Roma on goal difference.

Fresh from a 2-2 draw at Juventus, Sassuolo built a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes through goals from Domenico Berardi and Filip Djuricic.

Torino's Cristian Ansaldi, right, scores his side's second goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Torino and Fiorentina at the Olympic stadium in Turin, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (Alessandro Di MarcoANSA via AP)

Cagliari improved after the interval as Joao Pedro pulled one back with a header.

Berardi missed a penalty in the 66th that would have restored Sassuolo's two-goal advantage before subatitute Daniele Ragatzu snatched a last-minute equalizer 12 minutes after coming on.

Following back-to-back defeats at the start of the season, Cagliari has been in tremendous form under the influence of Radja Nainggolan, who is on loan from Inter.

Brescia's Mario Balotelli, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SPAL and Brescia, at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2019. (Elisabetta BaracchiANSA via AP)

FIORENTINA CRISIS

Simone Zaza made the most of a rare start to score as Torino inflicted a fourth straight loss on Fiorentina.

Zaza put the hosts in the lead in the 21st minute with a header from Cristian Ansaldi's cross. Ansaldi, an Argentine fullback, made it 2-0 in the 72nd before Martin Caceres pulled one back in stoppage time.

Brescia's Mario Balotelli, 2nd right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SPAL and Brescia, at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2019. (Elisabetta BaracchiANSA via AP)

The 2-1 defeat left Fiorentina in 13th place, 22 points behind leader Inter.

BALOTELLI REACHES 50

Forward Mario Balotelli scored to give Brescia a 1-0 win at SPAL and lift his team off the bottom spot.

It was Balotelli's 50th Serie A goal and he dedicated it to his daughter and son.

Brescia's Mario Balotelli, left, scores during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SPAL and Brescia, at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2019. (Elisabetta BaracchiANSA via AP)

“For me it's important to save Brescia," Balotelli said. "That's what I have in mind."

SPAL dropped to 20th, one point behind Brescia.

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